SAN DIEGO, July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday, July 6, 2012, Imaging Healthcare Specialists became the first imaging center in San Diego County and among the first in the nation to offer patients PET brain imaging with Amyvid™, the radioactive agent which can detect the presence or absence of amyloid plaques in the brain as part of a diagnostic evaluation to determine if a patient has the pathology of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Amyvid was FDA approved in April 2012 and released to select imaging centers across the United States by Eli Lilly on June 1, 2012. In accordance with FDA guidelines, Imaging Healthcare Specialists will use the scan only in people who already have cognitive decline and in conjunction with traditional clinical evaluation.
In this new procedure, patients are injected with a short-acting radioactive agent called florbetapir (Amyvid), which binds to amyloid plaques in the brain that are the hallmark of AD. The patient is then scanned with positron emission tomography (PET) which can detect the presence or absence of amyloid plaque.
According to Mark Schechter, MD, a board-certified diagnostic radiologist and Medical Director of PET Imaging at Imaging Healthcare Specialists, the release of Amyvid for use in patients is a major advance in diagnosing Alzheimer's Disease.
"Until now, the diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease has been made clinically," said Dr. Schechter, "and could only be confirmed at autopsy." He added, "This test is a diagnostic adjunct to other clinical evaluation methods, such as physical examination, laboratory evaluation, and neuropsychiatric/cognitive testing, and should only be used to confirm an AD diagnosis in the cognitively impaired patient. Although this test cannot detect very low levels of amyloid plaque, a negative test means that the cognitive impairment is likely due to some cause other than AD."
This news comes following the May announcement by Health a